The Learning Support Unit at Excelsior American School is committed to providing an inclusive learning environment to students with special needs and students who need behavioural counselling. The unit is a multidisciplinary team of dedicated special educators, occupational therapists and school counselors who work closely together to create meaningful and equitable access to a specific curriculum, specially designed for the child. It works in close coordination with the form tutors, subject teachers and the parents to support the students. The unit act as a full-fledged support system, catering to the needs of students who are on the Spectrum, slow learners and students with specific learning disabilities, etc.
The unit ensures all students who require learning support provisions (including all aspects of intellectual, emotional, physical and social development) are identified at the earliest and provided the remedial support appropriate to their individual needs and ability. Considerable attention is paid to the students’ overall development and progress. It is the LSU’s aim to completely assimilate each student into every aspect of school life and to develop the students’ self-esteem in the classroom and through school activities.
Curriculum planning is done through an Individualized Education Plan which covers all aspects of development: cognitive, physical, social-emotional and communication. Children with additional needs, have access to the school’s nonacademic curriculum with support and participate in all school activities and events.
The Learning Support Unit is comprised of the Junior (Class Nursery to VI) and Senior schools (Class VII-XII) and not only addresses concerns related to academics but also on the overall development of the child. A team of professionals devise the same, suiting the child’s needs and ability to absorb and apply the information given to him/her. The Unit is child-centric but follows the system of inclusive education, which means that the children are a part of all the activities of the school. Along with guiding them in their academics, they are also groomed in other quintessential aspects. This combination allows them to simultaneously excel in academics and co-curricular fields, which render them capable of fulfilling their goals.
Individualized Education Plans (IEP) are developed by the team which are reviewed after every quarter with parents and make them involved in the decision making process.
The Unit follows the following practices:
- Individualized Educational Plan (IEP): The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) specifies the goals and objectives for a child in context of his/her specific areas of development. IEP is made by the special educator in consultation with the parents. Prior to making an IEP the team reflects on the previous IEP to assess its effectiveness and outcome. Suggestions and inputs of the same are incorporated in the new IEP.
- Progress Review: The Progress Review is a documentation of the child’s academic, behavioral, physical, cognitive, social emotional as well as vital development based on specific observations and feedback of the group/ subject as well as the special educator. It is shared with the parents. The purpose of interaction with the parents is to assess, review and share our understanding and work in the area of special education. This is also an opportunity for us to understand the parents’ perspective and incorporate their suggestions and inputs, wherever possible. Peer support and collaborative learning in classrooms enable an inclusive environment in EAS. Peer intervention strategies provide ongoing social and academic support to children with special needs.
Any Special Education programme is forever evolving because each child is different and presents varied challenges as well as opportunities for us. There will be new learnings with each experience which will further strengthen the Special Education programme at EAS. Our endeavor is to work towards enriching the learning experiences of our children!